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Vatican Analyst Eager to Improve Media Coverage of Church

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Catholic News Agency - published on 01/09/14 - updated on 06/07/17

Allen is currently senior correspondent at the National Catholic Reporter, where he has worked since 1997. Dennis Coday, the Reporter's editor, wrote, “we will miss John and the contributions he has made to NCR over the years” and that “we look forward to a continued friendly, professional relationship as colleagues carried out in mutual respect.”

The Vatican analyst explained the move, saying, “my rap on the so-called mainstream media for years has been that it doesn't take religion seriously as a newsbeat; that is, it doesn't invest the resources in religion coverage that it does, not only in things like politics and finance, but even in sports and entertainment.”

“The coverage of religion tends to be sporadic, it tends to be incomplete, it tends to be incredibly superficial.” The Globe's decision to hire him, he said, suggests that such coverage of religion is beginning to change, “and at long last the kind of secular news business has clued into the fact that religion is something that an incredibly important segment of its audience cares deeply about, and therefore it's worth trying to get it right.”

McGrory said that Allen will work alongside the Globe's religion reporter Lisa Wangsness, and the change will have no impact on the paper's coverage of other religious bodies.

He noted that coverage of the Church in a major secular daily will be distinguished from that in “the specifically Catholic press,” but that “I want this to be responsible and well-informed, without fear or favor.”

Allen added that his new position will allow him to continue his current side projects, which include speaking engagements, television appearances on CNN, and book writing. His most recent and critically acclaimed work, “The Global War on Christians,” was published last October.

Courtesy of Catholic News Agency.

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CatholicismPope FrancisVatican
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